What is a documentary wedding photographer?

A good documentary wedding photographer is a storyteller, through pictures - pictures that can be worth more than words.

This genre of photography goes under several different names of which documentary wedding photography is just one. It is also known as reportage wedding photography or wedding photojournalism. It is a style akin to one which news reporters use: recording events without interfering or altering their course. It is characterised by an absence of direction or prompting, resulting in truly moving images of the day’s events.

if you want to have a relaxed wedding this style of documentary wedding photography has huge benefits

  • no delays or interruptions to the natural course of events whilst the wedding photographer asks for manoeuvres to be or frozen or even repeated

  • the opportunity for the wedding photographer to capture authentic emotional moments, sometimes ones that even the bride or groom are not aware of

  • more time for the bride and groom to spend with their family and friends than in a breakaway group for formal wedding photographs

it’s not simply about taking candid photos. Images must have context, to paint the entire picture of the scene, not just a small part of it. The best documentary wedding photographers will be unobtrusive and blend into the background at your wedding, setting the scene and capturing key moments of the day unobtrusively.

if you like my documentary style of wedding photography, you can check my availability by dropping me a line.

The bride’s elderly father at the wedding ceremony is the focus of the documentary photo here. His eyes are riveted to the bride who can be seen in the foreground and the complete context is given by the other guests looking on. The bride was probably not aware of the loving eyes of her father on her, but seeing this image later may be very moving for her.

Documentary wedding photography of proud father watching bride

This example of documentary wedding photography focuses on the bride’s mother enjoying a glass of champagne, whilst the bride is having her hair done in the foreground. The bridal gown hangs outside the room and can be seen through the open door.

Documentary wedding photography mother of the bride during bridal prep


You can see more examples of my work as a documentary wedding photographer in my wedding portfolio.